As pointed out in a Rifftides review earlier this year, drummer John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet…
…has unity of thought, purpose and execution more often found in long-lived classical ensembles than in jazz. The difference, of course, is improvisation. Yet, Hollenbeck’s skills as composer-arranger, leader and drummer are so finely honed that it is often a challenge to differentiate between his canny orchestration and all-out blowing.
Here is Hollenbeck with his Claudia sidemen in a television appearance in Montreal last year. The players are Hollenbeck, drums; Chris Speed, clarinet; Red Wierenga, accordian; Matt Moran, vibes; and Drew Gress, bass. The piece is Hollenbeck’s composition “Peterborough.”
Over the coming weekend the Claudia Quintet will perform in Cambridge and Holyoke, Massachusetts, and in Vancouver, BC. I hope they sleep well on long flights.